According to the corporate media, Congressman Ron Paul from Texas has no chance of winning the nomination for the GOP. According to social media, no one seems to be able to beat Ron Paul. Which one is right?
Ron Paul and the Corporate Media
It appears that the corporate media has a bias against Ron Paul. In fact, the most attention that Ron Paul receives from the corporate media is when they’re running stories discussing how they’re not ignoring Ron Paul.
Jon Stewart of the Daily Show played a hilarious clip showing several examples of how the media failed to recognize that Ron Paul finished in second place to Michelle Bachmann at the Iowa Straw Poll, instead talking about every other candidate except Ron Paul (in one instance, reading poll results where they name everyone on the list except Ron Paul). While Ron Paul is interviewed on more news shows than any other GOP candidate, he’s rarely mentioned when he’s not being interviewed. The ‘top tier’ candidates, like Perry, Romney, and Gingrich, don’t have to do many interviews because they’re always being mentioned on news shows.
To illustrate the treatment of Ron Paul by the corporate media, on 11-17-11, Bill O’Reilly ran a straw poll where Ron Paul won overwhelmingly, but the margin was so high that Bill O’Reilly disqualified Paul from the poll. In fact, he went on to say in this clip that Ron Paul has no chance of winning and shouldn’t be in the poll anyways. There have been similar instances with other online polls as well.
According to media pundits like Bill O’Reilly, Ron Paul doesn’t have a chance to win the election.
Ron Paul and the Straw Polls
However, when the American people are left to vote in online polls or straw polls, Ron Paul is an overwhelming victor. For example, the Conservative HQ had the following to say about Ron Paul’s performance in recent straw polls:
If the past five weeks have taught us anything in the CHQ Presidential Straw Poll, it’s that Ron Paul is the man to beat. But, it doesn’t seem like there is anyone who can. A week after Paul polled at 38 percent — a new high — he set a new record with 41 percent for the week of 11/14. Four out of every 10 members of CHQ who voted last week want Paul to take the GOP nomination. http://www.conservativehq.com/article/5555-ron-paul-sets-new-record-straw-poll-gingrich-tops-cain
Conversely, when we have to take the word of ‘scientific’ polls conducted privately, Ron Paul is consistently getting 10-15% support. So which result is a better indicator of who will win?
Ron Paul and Social Media
Pew’s Project for Excellence for Journalism, in a new study analyzing more than 20 million election-related tweets from May through November, attempts to answer the question of who the most popular GOP candidate is by measuring the amount of positive comments on their social media. The report had the following to say:
Tweets about five of the seven GOP presidential hopefuls expressed negative feedback by a margin of about two to one. President Barack Obama hasn’t fared well either — negative comments about him on Twitter outweigh the positives by three to one. http://mashable.com/2011/12/09/ron-paul-positive-twitter-following/
So who had the most positive comments about him? Ron Paul. The results of the survey “…found that 55% of Paul’s Twitter followers had positive things to say about him. Only 15% expressed negative opinions.”
It appears that the social media conversation has been much kinder than the national media’s coverage.
Other ways of determining how the candidates are performing has to do with how they’re raising money and how many people show up to their events. Ron Paul has consistently been one of the top 3 fund raisers in the field and is consistently considered to run the best organization when it comes to getting his supporters where they are supposed to be. Even the Washington Post commented that “… Paul is widely regarded as the best organized candidate in the state. He also has the most ardent supporters.” http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/post/ron-paul-is-mitt-romneys-best-iowa-friend/2011/12/13/gIQA82f3rO_blog.html
So if Ron Paul has the best organization, is able to win money, wins straw polls, is well received at debates, and has overwhelmingly the most social media support, how is he perceived by the media as unable to win? It seems to me that the question should be ‘Can anyone beat Ron Paul?’